What are possible causes of low levels of arterial oxygen in arterial blood gases (ABGs)?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Kevin McCarthy, RPFT; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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Low levels of arterial oxygen can be attributed to one or more of five categories, as follows: (1) ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) mismatching, (2) alveolar-capillary diffusion limitation, (3) hypoventilation, (4) anatomic right-to-left shunts, and (5) low inspired oxygen partial pressures (eg, altitude).

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